Title

The Role of Occupation and Cognition in Depression

Start Time

16-11-2002 1:45 PM

End Time

16-11-2002 3:00 PM

Abstract

There is an unprecedented rise in the incidence and prevalence of depressive disorders. This takes an enormous toll on the quality of life of those individuals who present with depressive symptomatology, as well as costs to the workplace, and the health care system. A theoretical understanding of depression is an essential precursor to the development of effective therapeutic interventions and research activities. This presentation will provide an overview of the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of depression. There are multiple theories, along with corresponding research studies that have appeared in the literature regarding the etiology of mood disorders. These range from the strictly biologically-based factors, to socio-cultural forces and personality traits that impact on mood. The area of the functional aspects of depression with the resulting impact on occupational performance has received little attention. The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for major depression includes reference to a diminished interest and pleasure in most daily activities, and also a diminished capacity for problem-solving, decision-making and concentration. This presentation will examine the DSM-IV definition from an occupational science perspective, and will discuss the relationship between meaningful occupation and depressive mood. This "occupational poverty" as I call it, and the accompanying social withdrawal creates more isolation and fewer opportunities for the individual to participate in activities that might lead to a sense of occupational competence. It is widely accepted that the decreased involvement in previously satisfying activities further exacerbates depression. Recovery strategies include increasing the frequency of pleasurable activities, but this will not in and of itself lead to a remission of depression. It is only through engagement in occupation, i.e. activities with meaning leading to purpose, that leads to a sense of increased competence and confidence in one's abilities and skills. In addition to exploring the role of occupation in mediating depression, this presentation will also examine the role that cognition plays in depression. The literature on the relationship between metacognition and affect will be reviewed, along with promising new research in this area. Occupational therapy has had a long history in the mental health practice arena. The profession's core belief in the "curative value of occupation" has enormous implications for treatment interventions and research. An exploration of the relationship between depression, occupation and cognition is necessary for the development and research of evidence-based practice guidelines. This workshop will review the theories of the etiology of depression, the development of depressive symptomatology, the neurobiology of the disorder, and the impact of depression on subjective well-being from an occupational science perspective. The need for further research in this area is critical, given the growing incidence of depression. There will be a review of assessments currently in use that might be utilized to further explore the link between occupation, cognition and depression. Existing practice guidelines and treatment interventions/protocols for the management of depression will also be reviewed with suggestions for future research directions.

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Nov 16th, 1:45 PM Nov 16th, 3:00 PM

The Role of Occupation and Cognition in Depression

There is an unprecedented rise in the incidence and prevalence of depressive disorders. This takes an enormous toll on the quality of life of those individuals who present with depressive symptomatology, as well as costs to the workplace, and the health care system. A theoretical understanding of depression is an essential precursor to the development of effective therapeutic interventions and research activities. This presentation will provide an overview of the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of depression. There are multiple theories, along with corresponding research studies that have appeared in the literature regarding the etiology of mood disorders. These range from the strictly biologically-based factors, to socio-cultural forces and personality traits that impact on mood. The area of the functional aspects of depression with the resulting impact on occupational performance has received little attention. The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for major depression includes reference to a diminished interest and pleasure in most daily activities, and also a diminished capacity for problem-solving, decision-making and concentration. This presentation will examine the DSM-IV definition from an occupational science perspective, and will discuss the relationship between meaningful occupation and depressive mood. This "occupational poverty" as I call it, and the accompanying social withdrawal creates more isolation and fewer opportunities for the individual to participate in activities that might lead to a sense of occupational competence. It is widely accepted that the decreased involvement in previously satisfying activities further exacerbates depression. Recovery strategies include increasing the frequency of pleasurable activities, but this will not in and of itself lead to a remission of depression. It is only through engagement in occupation, i.e. activities with meaning leading to purpose, that leads to a sense of increased competence and confidence in one's abilities and skills. In addition to exploring the role of occupation in mediating depression, this presentation will also examine the role that cognition plays in depression. The literature on the relationship between metacognition and affect will be reviewed, along with promising new research in this area. Occupational therapy has had a long history in the mental health practice arena. The profession's core belief in the "curative value of occupation" has enormous implications for treatment interventions and research. An exploration of the relationship between depression, occupation and cognition is necessary for the development and research of evidence-based practice guidelines. This workshop will review the theories of the etiology of depression, the development of depressive symptomatology, the neurobiology of the disorder, and the impact of depression on subjective well-being from an occupational science perspective. The need for further research in this area is critical, given the growing incidence of depression. There will be a review of assessments currently in use that might be utilized to further explore the link between occupation, cognition and depression. Existing practice guidelines and treatment interventions/protocols for the management of depression will also be reviewed with suggestions for future research directions.